The establishment of the Rural Health Research Center (RHRC), Kataragama is a significant landmark event in the history of the Faculty of Medicine, the premier medical institution in Sri Lanka which was founded almost 150 years ago. This centre was developed under the Quality Improvement Grant of the HETC project of the World Bank awarded to the Faculty of Medicine. This task was spearheaded by Prof. Upul Senarath with the support of Dr. Sanath Senanayake, Dr. Sisira Pathirana and Dr. Manuj Weerasinghe under the guidance of Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe, Prof Nadira Karunaweeera and the Dean of the Faculty Prof. Jennifer Perera in 2018. The Working Group of the HETC project facilitated operational support from its inception.
The Centre will facilitate a programme of health research relevant to rural communities and to provide opportunity for collaborative research projects under different fields. It will also serve as a coordinating center for elective programmes for local and international students to pursue their studies on community-based health services in Sri Lanka. This will be a resource centre for the region to provide evidence to address key health issues in the area.
The centre is governed by a management committee under the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The facilities at the centre include a conference hall to hold about 50 participants, four guest rooms, and ample green space bordering menik ganga.